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What Causes Herniated Discs?

By Sara Butler

Herniated discs are a condition that should be avoided since they can cause a lot of pain and issues that have the possibility to last a lifetime. However, if you want to avoid a herniated disc in your spine, you first have to understand how and why they happen. The chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic have you covered! Here's what you need to know the causes of herniated discs so you can avoid them.

What Is a Herniated Disc?

In your spine, the bones are separated by discs that help to cushion the spine and create space for spinal nerves to travel through as they stretch out to different parts of your body, such as your legs and arms. These discs are comprised of a tough outer layer and squishy inner layer, sort of like a jelly donut. If the outer layer becomes weakened or cracks, then the softer inner layer can bulge or seep out and create some serious issues. Often, the surrounding nerves are pinched, which can lead to other symptoms such as pain that travel down a limb or numbness.

Wear and Tear

One of the issues that can contribute to a herniated disc in the spine is wear and tear, a process also called degeneration. As your back works to absorb shock, move you, and support your weight, the discs work hard to keep your going. Over time, the outer layer of the discs can be weakened by this wear and tear and lead to a herniation.


One of the most common reasons behind herniated discs is injury. A disc can be herniated as a result of several types of trauma from car accidents to lifting incorrectly. That's why it's crucial to see the chiropractor if you're involved in an accident so you can get checked over, even if an injury is not automatically apparent.


Sometimes, a perfect storm can be created through the degeneration process and an injury. If your discs are already weakened by wear and tear and then you experience a trauma, then a disc in your spine can herniate. Often, discs can be so weak that something that isn't that traumatic can cause a herniation, such as a sneeze. Any sudden force can lead to disastrous consequences.

If you have more questions about herniated discs and how to prevent them, then talk to the chiropractors at The Joint today.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in San Jose, Calif.

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